MORGAN TOWNSHIP | Washington Township's offense wasn't always firing on all cylinders, but Senators forward Sammie Higgins kept the engine from stalling Monday night.
Higgins had a double-double of 14 points and 14 rebounds to lead W.T. to a 56-40 win against LaCrosse in the opening round of the 41st annual Porter County Conference Tournament.
Washington Township (7-9) was just 19-of-56 (33 percent) from the field, but Higgins cleaned up on the offensive glass with six boards and two putbacks to keep the Senators in the lead.
"She just kept fighting down there," Washington Township coach Becky Harper said of Higgins, "and that was very big for us. She lifted the entire team."
Sophomore guard Heather Burton added 13 points, and she also persevered through some pain. Burton left the floor with 6:36 left in the fourth quarter. She returned a few minutes later, and added three more points to finish with 13.
"She rolled her ankle," Harper said of Burton, who also had three assists. "She's a really tough kid."
Gabbie Sievers kept the Tigers (4-11) in the game with a game-high 19 points, hitting 11-of-16 at the free throw line.
The host Cherokees upset South Central 59-45 in the nightcap. Cherokees junior guard Trina Coleman led the way with 27 points, 11 in the final quarter.
"She played the game best game of her season," Morgan Township coach Kevin Krieger said of Coleman, who also had three assists. "She showed a great poise out there running the offense, not trying to do too much."
Teammate Bri Leuck added 15 points, while Hannah Murphy added nine points.
This was South Central's first loss against a PCC team this season.
"We played like there was no pressure on us," Krieger said. "You could tell that by the way we shot the ball."
Jill Rosenbaum had a team-high 18 points for S.C., while Riley Popplewell added 11.